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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

God help me. Please.

Lately, Little Man A has been throwing temper tantrums lately like I never thought a child could. Of course, they can throw temper tantrums - what was I thinking?? I've tried various different ways to handle the situation when he does break down because he's thrown his drumstick down the stairs for the third time in a row (why would you throw it if you want it back so badly??) or he really wants to read one of his pop-up books that he's already ripped a few places or for whatever other reason decides to throw him off for the day. Most of the times, when I try to divert him from whatever is upsetting him, he'll take what new "distraction" I've given him and throw it across the room.... with lightning speed. I've tried every attempt and it seems like nothing is working.

a) I've tried ignoring them, especially when I'm trying to cook dinner, but that just makes him hang all over me even more.

b) I've tried making light of the situation - "Oops, you threw your toy. Let's pick it up and find something else to play with." or when he gets really frustrated while attempting to do something new, like stack rings I'll say, "I know that's really tough to do, but you're trying to so well. Let's try playing with something else."

c) I've tried the angry approach by getting down on his level and in a very stern, not yelling voice, "We do not throw our toys. Now let's go pick them up."

d) I've even tried the gentle, quiet approach from his level as well, "Little Man, we do not throw our toys."

For Christmas my mother, God love her, bought this Leap Frog Farm Animals Magnet toy. It really is an inventive idea and the animals sounds are really cute, especially if you "put a cow in the front and a pig behind, put them together and what do you find? A cow-pig?? That's silly! Hehehe." Sorry. Anyways, not such a cute idea when the pieces are lightweight plastic and you have a tile kitchen floor. Just to let you know, this is what it sounds like:

So, if any of you other moms out there have other suggestions as to HOW to deal with the temper tantrums, I am all ears! I didn't think that the infamous "terrible twos" would hit this early (they say the "terrible two" actually start around 15 months). I guess my child just likes to be one step ahead of the game at all times. And right now, he's winning!

Suggestions?? Please!!


Shar said...

I wish I had some words of wisdom, but I don't. My daughter was the kid that I would just look at her or snap my fingers to get her attention and that was the end of it.

I'll be writing in about 7 months asking for the same advice for Crazy Man probably.

Wenderina said...

Your aunt with no children thinks you are doing just amazing. Remember I'm the woman who used to put her kitten in a pillow case because he was keeping me up all night.

(Animal Rights Activists, please note - it had air holes and he used to curl up in it and purr...)

KiKi said...

You're doing a great job already. Just keep doing what you're doing. Each child is different. Zeze responds to humor, so back in the day when she tried the tantrum route, I would get down on the floor and throw my own tantrum. The first time it shocked her into silence, and thereafter she was always quite entertained.

My niece, on the other hand, loves attention - so the best approach for her is always to ignore her. Nothing else works. She tries to continue but when we remain "oblivious" to her, she finally exhausts herself and gives up. Point is, SHE gives up before we do.

Not saying either of these will work. Mostly it's just trial and error, so either you'll find one approach that works and stick to it or you'll rotate as per the situation. Sorry it doesn't seem helpful, but that's how it is with kids, no manual - lol.

Laura said...

Here's my two cents, since I currently live with a 2 1/2 year old that has been testing me this week. She also went through a stage when she was around a year old. It's not really the terrible two's, its just that he is testing you right now. You ARE doing a great job, but you need to find a system that works for you so that you can stay sane. Do you have a playpen? If not you could just use his crib. When he starts acting that way tell him calmly that this is not the way to act and put him somewhere he can't escape. Without any toys, and then walk away. After he calms down go back and explain that he is not allowed to act this way and why. My daughter started time outs around this age.. just for one minute to get her to calm down. This works well for me because it gives me a chance to calm down too. In a couple weeks he will be the loving little boy you know again. Well until around 15- 18 months! :)